PASADENA >> What began as a traffic stop for failing to display license plates late Wednesday led to the recovery of a stolen car, the seizure of a cache of alleged identity theft-related materials and netted three arrest, authorities said.
The bust took place about 7 p.m. after an officer pulled over a car for having no license plates at Peoria Street and Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
“Further investigation revealed the car was stolen,” he said.
A search of the car turned up “numerous instruments of ID theft,” including credit card readers, computers, fraudulent tax returns and documents in the names of other people, according to Hettema.
Police jailed Philip Laurel Marmolejo, 28, of Pasadena and Noelia Gaeta, 39, of Duarte on suspicion of crimes including identity theft, the lieutenant said. Joseph Anthony Camerano, 30, of Pasadena was being held on a parole violation stemming from a previous conviction.
None of the defendants are strangers to jail cells, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
Marmolejo pleaded “no contest” to a single count of ID theft in March of 2016, while another ID theft charge, two counts of burglary and one count of grant theft by credit card fraud were dismissed. He was sentenced to a year in jail, but released less than four months later in June of 2016.
He was also convicted of being under the influence of drugs in 2010, and of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 2007, court records show.
Gaeta also has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for false personation of another person, vehicle theft and driving on a suspended license in 2015, being under the influence of drugs in 2014, petty theft in 2013 and possession of stolen property in 2011.
Camerano, who remains on parole, was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run in 2009. Charges of murder and attempted murder were dismissed. He received a prison sentence of 17 years. It was not clear Thursday when he was paroled.
Camerano was also convicted of burglary in 2005.
According to county booing records, Marmolejo was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, while Gaeta and Camerano were being held without bail.